Heritage Resource Centre
Preserving Kingston's past for Kingston's future
Located in the Market Wing of City Hall, the Heritage Resource Centre (HRC) is an advisory centre and community hub for built heritage conservation, intangible heritage, and an interpretative gallery space presenting Kingston's history and stories.
As a joint initiative between Planning, Building & Licensing Services and Cultural Services, the HRC is intended to foster an appreciation of community through innovative approaches to cultural heritage stewardship. The HRC provides an educational space for cultural integration while serving a variety of users that include heritage property owners, specifically those who own designated heritage buildings, local residents including students, heritage consultants, historical researchers, and visitors to the area.
A community hub for education and integration of Kingston's cultural heritage
Located in the heart of downtown Kingston, the HRC is open to the public Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 p.m. throughout the year (with exception of holiday/winter hours). It is intended to be a welcoming environment for education and celebration, to meet, discuss and learn about cultural heritage matters in all its forms.
Visit the HRC in order to:
- Experience and learn more about Kingston's history – its heritage assets, historic spaces and, its role in shaping Canada
- Search through a variety of resources including a collection of books, pamphlets and maps related to cultural heritage - built, associative narrative and natural.
- Seek informative materials pertaining to conservation, restoration and rehabilitation.
- Acquire information about heritage permit and heritage grant applications and other regulatory tools and gain support through HRC staff. Alternatively, a staff member can be reached at 613-546-4291 ext. 1389 and is available to discuss Ontario Heritage Act requirements and compliance with city policies.
About the City of Kingston
Kingston's vision of being a smart, livable 21st century city is fast becoming reality. History and innovation thrive in our dynamic city located along the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario, an easy drive from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, in the heart of eastern Ontario. With a stable and diversified economy that includes global corporations, innovative startups and all levels of government, Kingston's high quality of life offers access to world-class education and research institutions, advanced healthcare facilities, affordable living and vibrant entertainment and tourism activities.
The Heritage Resource Centre has a collection of resources that are available to the public during regular business hours. The collection includes a wide range of material related to heritage conservation practices, cultural heritage, and Kingston's history, among others. View our inventory of more than 750 titles including books, articles, City reports and policies, newsletters and maps.
City Hall Tours
Learn more about Kingston City Hall's fascinating history, beautiful architecture – and about the intriguing people, events and stories associated with this national historic site. A prominent landmark on the Kingston waterfront since 1844, City Hall is the symbolic centre of the community's civic government and administration.
Guided tours 2018
- May 22 until September 1: Monday to Saturday - 10 a.m. to 4p.m.
- September 3 until October 11: Monday to Thursday - 10 a.m. to 4p.m.
- October 2018 until reopen May 2019 special tours and educational programs can be arranged by request (depending on staff availability)
- No tours are offered on civic holidays.
These tours take on average can last about 45 minutes, but can be condensed to accommodate varied interests. Advanced notice is requested for groups larger than 10 people and school groups. To book your tour of City Hall, email CityHallTours@cityofkingston.ca or call 613-546-4291 ext. 1389.
The first two floors are available year-round using the following print-friendly guides:
- City Hall Guide - English, French, Chinese, German, Spanish
- Sir John A. Macdonald Artefacts Guide - English
Find out more about visiting City Hall, and City of Kingston guided tours.
Workshops and Lectures
Throughout the year, the Heritage Resource Centre hosts exclusive talks and workshops pertaining to cultural events and heritage conservation. Stay connected with upcoming events through social media and the City of Kingston calendar.
The links below take you to various local, provincial, national and international heritage conservation resources. Collections and information on architectural features, building material samples, maps, photos, books and other related artifacts are also available.
Global standards & guidelines
Federal standards & guidelines
- Canadian register of Historic Places
- Canada's historic places
- Standards and guidelines for the conservation of historic places in Canada
Provincial standards & guidelines
- Municipal register
- Heritage conservation districts
- Market Square
- Walking tours
- Livable City Design Awards
- Get Involved Kingston
Heritage information documents
- Archaeology – frequently asked questions – Ontario Heritage Trust
- Handout from Ministry regarding heritage properties and insurance
- Researching historic properties
- Robert Shipley's study on Heritage designation and property values
Cultural Heritage Information Links
- Canadian Geographic Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada
- Community Heritage Ontario
- Digital Kingston
- Frontenac Heritage Foundation
- Heritage Canada Foundation
- Heritage Resource Centre – University of Waterloo
- Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites
- KFL&A Children and Youth Planning Committee – Gathering Communities, Making Connections
- Kingston Historical Society
- Ontario Architecture
- Stones Project – social history tours of Kingston
- Vintage Kingston